A motorized bicycle is great for getting around town, racing, and even longer commutes. As such, riders typically know their routes well, so the chances of running into issues are usually low. Hitting the road on your motorized bike may be a part of your daily routine, but it’s still possible to encounter a sudden bike emergency.
If you’re riding your motorized bicycle for a longer amount of time than suggested or taking a new route that you’re not familiar with, you could be confronted with unexpected problems. That’s why it helps to be prepared at all times.
In this article, we offer some useful tips for being prepared in case of a motorized bike emergency.
Carry Spare Tools and Motorized Bike Parts
Before you head out, it’s always best to take a few spare tools and motorized bicycle parts with you. As much as you prepare for your upcoming ride, there could be situations that you just don’t see coming. That’s why it’s always a smart idea to bring extra equipment like a multitool and chain breaker.
Speaking of chains, you could randomly hit some rough or uneven terrain that might bust your motorized bike chain. In those instances, it’s best to carry a few spare 415 master links and 415 half links. If you really want to play it safe, we recommend carrying a spare 415 heavy duty chain. Sure, you might not need it, but what happens if you do?
It’s always a smart idea to bring a bike repair kit in case of extreme emergencies, even if you’re just biking down the street. Your bike repair kit should include:
Obviously, you’re going to need a way to carry your tools and motorized bicycle parts. If you’re going on a shorter ride, a small saddle bag or even a bike basket are great options to fit all of your essentials. For a longer ride, you can opt for a handlebar pack, frame bag, or backpack.
Inner tube — Contrary to popular belief, running over nails or glass doesn't pop your tire, but rather your inner tube. Make sure you have at least one to two spares on you, especially when riding on rough terrain.
Patch kit — In most cases, you’ll be able to get by just patching up your tire and replacing the inner tube. That’s where a patch kit comes in handy.
Bike pump — Once you’ve patched up your flat tire, you’ll want to fill it right back up with air. Carrying a bike pump is smart and proactive.
Tire liner — Typically, a tire liner is designed to help prevent punctures. In case of extreme damage — for instance, caused by sharp, rocky, off-road terrain — you’ll want to have an extra tire liner just in case.
Spare tire — If the damage to your tire is too severe, you’re better off replacing it entirely using a spare.
Tire levers — These tools are pivotal if you’re replacing a tire. Using a screwdriver to pry a tire off a rim can damage the rim itself. Tire levers are designed specifically for removing tires without causing further damage.
Pliers — In case that nail is lodged too deeply in your tire, you’ll want to use needle-nose pliers to remove it.
Carry a First-Aid Kit in Case of Minor Injuries
Just like you should always carry spare tools and motorized bike engine parts, you should also bring along a first aid kit for yourself. Riding your motorized bicycle is generally a safe activity, but it’s best to be ready in case you experience a minor injury on the road. Even if you’re a confident, cautious rider, a driver or unexpected pothole could cause you to lose control of your bike.
A good first aid kit should include the following:
Having a first-aid kit on hand ensures you’ll be able to deal with any minor injuries you might acquire during your ride. Even if you do experience a more serious injury, a first-aid kit can at least provide you with some relief before you can get to the emergency room or call 911.
- Bandaids, bandages, and gauze
- Hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, or iodine
- Nitrile gloves
- Tylenol or a similar light painkiller
Dress Appropriately for Weather Conditions
Chances are you check the weather forecast every morning on your phone, computer, or TV. That means you’re likely aware of the weather conditions on a daily basis. Wearing comfortable clothing that’s appropriate for different weather conditions will ensure you have an enjoyable ride on your motorized bicycle or electric bike.
If the temperature is going to change throughout the day, layering your outfit with a range of lighter and heavier garments allows you to adjust accordingly. For example, if the day starts off cool but gets progressively warmer, you may want to wear a jacket that you can easily remove. If there’s a chance of showers, a rain poncho or raincoat are great to have on hand so you’re not caught off-guard while riding your motorized bike.
Finally, don’t forget about safety. Aside from always wearing your helmet, you’ll also need protective items like sunglasses if it’s going to be especially bright, and gloves if you’re riding in cold weather.
Understand Traffic Signals Between Bike Riders and Drivers
Whether you’re driving a car, riding a motorized bicycle, or operating an e-bike, the rules of the road are always important. You should be aware of your surroundings at all times, and don’t automatically assume that other drivers know how to interact with motorized bike or electric bike riders. Also, be sure to keep track of your speed using a speedometer so you can keep up with traffic.
Avoid switching back and forth between the street and sidewalk. Not only is this an unsafe practice (and a bad habit) for pedestrians, but it’s also extremely confusing for drivers, especially at intersections. In addition, the motorized bike laws as well as electric bike laws in your state may be strict about riding on sidewalks — always double-check your local motorized bike and electric bicycle traffic rules.
Hand traffic signals let drivers know where you are planning on going and ensure you won’t find yourself in a dangerous situation.
While operating a motorized bike or electric bike on the road, you should always follow bicycle traffic rules — ride with traffic rather than against traffic, and never pass drivers on their right side. Most importantly, pay attention. Stay focused on the road, don’t assume a driver sees you, and use body language and sound to make yourself known. It’s a good practice to install a horn on your motorized bike or electric bike in case you need to alert drivers or other riders.
- To signal a left turn or a lane change while riding your motorized bicycle on the road, you should hold your left arm out to the left side of your body.
Likewise, you can signal a right turn by holding your right arm out to the right side of your body.
Plan for Long Routes, Especially Alternate Routes
Riding your motorized bicycle or e-bike to a local coffee shop may be a route you’ve taken hundreds of times. You’re likely familiar with your destination, the exact path to take, and any obstacles along the way, like road construction. But what happens if a friend wants to try out a new coffee shop? Or what if your regular route is blocked off?
You should plan ahead and find the best and safest route to your destination. You don’t want to be halfway into your motorized bike ride and realize you’re going the wrong way. There are plenty of apps on your smartphone that can be useful for figuring out the best route to take. Most apps offer audio directions, too, so you can listen while you ride rather than looking at your phone and being a hazard to yourself and others.
It’s a good idea to have a backup route in case of road closures or construction projects that might block your intended route. Having at least one alternate route in case you aren’t able to take your original route is definitely recommended.
Prepare for Off-Roading and Mountain Bike Rides
In addition to commuting, motorized bicycles and e-bikes can also be used for off-roading and mountain biking. If you’re operating a motorized bike with a 2-stroke engine, you’ll want to make sure you have good high-performance parts installed. If you’re riding a DIY electric bike, your best bet is a 1000w e-bike kit like the ModWheel 48v 1000w Direct Drive 7-Spd Rear Wheel Electric Bike Kit.
Once you’re well-equipped for your off-road or motorized mountain bike outing, you’ll want to prepare accordingly. Your to-do list before participating in these activities is going to be slightly different than what it would be for a simple commute.
These types of leisurely activities often take more time than a standard commute. You should always consider the tips outlined below for motorized bike off-roading and longer mountain bike rides.
2-stroke engine high-performance electrical components.
Be prepared for emergency maintenance. If you’ve gone off-roading, chances are you’ve seen ATVs getting towed or Jeep drivers changing a tire while in the mud. It happens. Always have spare tools and engine kit parts (as outlined in the first section), because you never know when you’ll need them, especially if you’re engaging in extreme motorized bike riding. Aside from tools, a bike repair kit, tire pump, and spare motorized bike chain, you should also carry these extras:
Spare tires — If you’re off-roading, two spare tires are better than one. Just in case.
2-stroke engine oil — If you experience an oil leak, you’ll want to make sure you can refill your 2-stroke engine.
High-performance CDI and magneto — If you hit deep puddles or heavy mud, your engine’s electrical components could short out if they get wet. It’s a good idea to carry a spare high-performance CDI and magneto in case you need to swap these parts out.
Spare spark plug — Off-roading can get pretty intense. If you’re unable to start your 2-stroke engine, you may need to swap out the spark plug. A high-performance spark plug is ideal for optimal performance. That said, because weather conditions may be more extreme if you’re off-roading in the canyons or riding your motorized bicycle in the mountains, we recommend carrying an NGK B5HS 2-Stroke Spark Plug for colder climates and an NGK B6HS 2-Stroke Spark Plug for hotter weather.
Stay hydrated. Riding your motorized bicycle or electric bike through off-road terrain and mountain trails can be physically demanding. Make sure you have enough water to get you through your ride. It’s recommended to bring along a few healthy snacks, too. Staying hydrated and nourished can prevent health issues that might arise from excessive thirst or hunger. It’s smart to pack more supplies than you think you’ll need versus needing water or food and realizing there isn’t any left.
Always Be Prepared When Riding a Motorized Bike
Experiencing a motorized bike emergency or bike engine malfunction on your way to work is a great way to start the day off on a bad note. That’s why it pays off to be prepared at all times.
Whether you’re making your daily trip to work, running a quick errand, or just doing a little leisurely off-road riding, you’ll want to avoid a potential motorized bike emergency. As such, it’s best to carry the proper tools and spare equipment, understand the rules of the road, and know your route, among other things.
The tips offered here will help you stay ahead of any possible motorized bike emergencies. After all, it’s better to stay safe and be prepared so you never have to deal with a headache while you’re on the road.